Breakout season for Bojka

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By Kyle Brennan, Citizen’s News

Former Woodland standout Morina Bojka of Prospect earned a spot on the All-Skyline Conference team and averaged career-highs in points and rebounds per game in her junior season at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. – LEE FERRIS/MOUNT SAINT MARY COLLEGE

For two seasons on the Mount Saint Mary College women’s basketball team, Prospect’s Morina Bojka couldn’t figure out where she belonged.

“I really didn’t know where I fit in on the court,” said Bojka, a 5-foot-10 junior. “I was too small to play a post position but too big to play a guard position. I was kind of awkward with my body and I didn’t really put in enough work to get where I needed to be.”

That all changed entering this past season, which proved to be a breakout one for the former Woodland standout.

Bojka’s superb junior season landed her a spot on the All-Skyline Conference team as she averaged career-highs with 18.3 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game. Most importantly to Bojka, her Knights went 20-6 and won their league’s regular-season championship.

“It was a really good season,” Bojka said. “It was a really good learning experience for everybody, not just myself. I was sad that it got cut a little short (with a loss in the league tournament semifinals). We all just really came together. There was a big difference between this year and last year — our coaches did a great job of pushing us. They had high expectations for us all season.”

Bojka didn’t just credit her first-year coaches, Colleen Ames and Eric Fluty, with helping push the team to a quality season. She also praised their efforts in helping her take her game to the next level.

“My coaches really pushed me,” Bojka said. “I did a ton of individual sessions with Coach Fluty and we really just worked on every aspect of my game. We got me as good as I could be. They told me that I had faith in me, and that’s what I needed.”

That showed in plenty of ways, not the least of which was on the stat sheet. As a sophomore in 2018-19, Bojka averaged 5.5 points and four rebounds per game with just two starts in 27 outings. During her junior campaign, she started all 26 games and improved her shooting percentages, connecting on 46% of field-goal attempts and 38.5% of 3-pointers.

The highlight of her season came Jan. 14 in a 75-63 win over the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Bojka went off for a career-high 35 points, including 26 in the second half, on 14-of-30 shooting from the floor (5-of-9 from long range). She added 14 rebounds and three steals as she played all 40 minutes.

“That game was really interesting because it was one of our first conference games where it was closer,” Bojka said, recalling her team’s 35-31 halftime edge. “I was starting to get worried, and my coach (Ames) just said, ‘I need you do to this.’ I just went on the court and did as best as I could to take control.”

She also enjoyed a 30-point game on Jan. 30 and hit the 20-point mark 13 times on the season, including in each of the Knights’ final three games.

Bojka earned plenty of recognition during the season, including three Skyline Conference Player of the Week honors and the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Division II/III Player of the Week award on Jan. 21.

It all culminated in her selection to the all-conference team March 2.

“It was good to hear,” Bojka said. “I worked really hard this season. Because of my first two years, this year people definitely started to hear my name and watch me more. It was good recognition for this season.”

She hopes to continue her personal success and the team’s upward trajectory next winter. That includes getting revenge for the Knights’ upset loss in the league semifinals.

“I want to win the conference championship and get all my teammates better so that when I’m gone, they can win without me there,” Bojka said.

Even while busy with school and her own season, Bojka still found time to watch her younger sister, Andra, play her sophomore season at Woodland. Morina’s name hangs on the school’s 1,000-point banner, so she has a vested interest — and credibility — when it comes to watching and critiquing her younger sister.

“We definitely play,” said Morina, whose other sister, Hana, also played at Woodland. “I love beating up on my sister. My family watches all my games online or in person, and I try to watch as many of Andra’s games as I can on Hudl. I try to give her tips — she doesn’t like to listen, but I try. We’re all very supportive of each other, and that’s what I need so I can get better.”